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Year View| Summary| Highlights| June 2006 (Month View)
01.06.2006 – Thursday 1 June – Winter, PHP 5, The RTA & Citibank
- • Today is winter. My site has been moved to a PHP 5 server. I spend the morning converting various things, mostly my XML-manipulation code, so they work under PHP 5. I still can’t update my journal, unfortunately, but at least I can read it, and I get the comments and basic site functions working.
- • I rode to town, dropped the appropriate form off at the RTA so our recently departed tenant can receive her bond refund, went looking for things that would fit on top of my torch and turn it into a lantern or electric candle, and bought some Velcro, elastic, tough thread and needles in preparation for making a headband to hold my new torch.
- • Citibank has enabled my Citibank Plus account, so I transferred some money into its linked accounts to capitalise on the higher interest.
- Comment by Mum – Tuesday 6 June 2006, 3:00 PM
- In an act of perversity, I just cannot resist writing this, for the benefit of others reading. This first day of winter up here (Cooktown area) has me descending into the "shove on a T shirt" for the later hours, but rest of the hours of the day are as usual. Shorts and singlet or skimpy whatever. Okay, one has to maybe pull over a sheet at night, haven't had to actually get out a blanket for bed yet. Hah, hah, hah.
Yes, well okay. In summer's steaming stew you mob can be much more comfortagble than us up here. Girl's gotta have some recompense!
02.06.2006 – Friday 2 June – XML DOM, PHP 5 & Pepe’s Mexican
- • After a lot of messing around, I’ve got the XML manipulation for my journal converted over to the new W3C DOM compliant XML functions used in PHP 5—but what a pain. Traversing DOM-trees might be the best way to do things (though I have no idea why), but it can sure get complex very fast.
- • I rode into town, using my new torch and its bike mount for the first time, and had a quick look at the art display at the Palace with Bronwen, before eating dinner at Pepe’s Mexican.
03.06.2006 – Saturday 3 June – Gloves & House Hunting
- • Bronwen and I caught a train out to the Southern Suburbs to look at houses, riding home via the city after—which took most of the day. I bought some gloves from the disposal store in the city on the way home, and did some grocery shopping.
- Comment by Clint – Sunday 4 June 2006, 12:35 PM
- A great day indeed.
- Comment by Ned – Sunday 4 June 2006, 5:54 PM
- I was going to add images, something far harder than it sounds the way I have done things, but instead I went house hunting.
04.06.2006 – Sunday 4 June – Festival Italia
- • Bronwen has gone to her parent’s place, and I’m working on adding photos to my journal—which is far harder than it sounds. XML, for all its fabled extensibility, is hard to extend.
- • Bronwen, her parent’s, and I drove to the Italian Festival in Newfarm, which was not much fun. It was very dusty and mostly comprised of people queuing in ridiculously long queues for food.
- • We drove to a few of the houses Bronwen and I had looked at yesterday.
- • Bronwen and I had dinner at Bronwen’s parent’s place.
- • Clint and I went for a wander around the suburbs, riding on what may well be Brisbane’s only monorail, watching people slow down for a speeding camera, and testing my new torch.
05.06.2006 – Monday 5 June – Sore Throat
- • I applied for nine jobs, only one of which I really wanted, and got a call back about one of the ones I didn’t want, almost immediately.
- • Bronwen and I did some grocery shopping, and then went for a walk around the suburb with Clint. I have also developed quite a severe sore throat.
06.06.2006 – Tuesday 6 June – City & Pizza
- • My throat doesn’t seem to be much better, if any.
- • Bronwen has taken the day off work. We messed around doing our own things in the morning, and walked into town to do some research on some houses in the afternoon.
- • I walked up to Eagle Boys and bought one of their cheap Tuesday pizzas.
07.06.2006 – Wednesday 7 June – Maz
- • I was woken by Lauren from HRM Recruitment, calling to ask if I was interested in an interview tomorrow. I then spent the morning discussing the job, and jobs in general, with krait and lulu, and deciding that I should try for fulltime self-employment doing web design and/or small IT solutions, possibly in conjunction with Marcus. I gave Marcus a call, and found out that he’s at Data#3 for a few months.
- • Maz dropped around, on his way back from his first day at work, and we had a chat before walking up to his place and watching the Simpsons, then driving me home.
08.06.2006 – Thursday 8 June – An Interview
- • My throat is still sore, possibly not as bad as yesterday—though that could just be because it’s the morning and I haven’t been using it much yet.
- • I showered, put on my suit, caught the train to Bowen Hills, and walked from there to HRM Recruitment. I arrived too early, so found a small café where I bought a Pasito for my sore throat, before heading up to see Lauren Borg. We had a chat about me, what I wanted, where I wanted to go, what I saw as my main strengths, the climate at Webcentral, and so on. I then completed three simple tests—entering data into a spreadsheet, listing what I saw as the strengths of customer service and technical support, responding to an angry support request email, and fixing and identifying some grammatical errors. She requested that I list web design, bushwalking and managing a home network as hobbies in my resume, and then I caught the train into the city.
- • I dropped by Woolworths on my way back from my interview, to buy a few things for dinner, bumping into Hollie while I was there.
- Comment by Maz – Wednesday 7 June 2006, 8:47 PM
- Test comment
09.06.2006 – Friday 9 June – POD, Bank Problems & The Zen of Equipment Failure
- • Clint and I drove to uni, where I did some printing at POD.
- • I got a call from Intech. We had a chat about my skills in various areas, weaknesses, where I saw myself heading, what I was interested in, and the wage I was after.
- • I logged into Citibank’s online banking, only to find that two of my accounts were gone, along with the money in them. I tried phoning Citibank, only to find a recorded message saying I was unable to call the number. A call to Engin confirmed that this was Engin’s problem, not Citibank’s. Apparently all 13– numbers in Queensland were not connecting. I managed to find a direct dial number for Citibank, and after half an hour on the phone, managed to get most of my accounts and all my money added back. I still have one account missing, which they’re apparently investigating, and I have to call back later to find out what the deal is. This brings me to the Zen of Equipment Failure, but first, some top-deck chocolate.
- • I trimmed back the front garden, as it is now growing out of its beds.
- • Clint has been attempting to justify his bushwalking habit by calling it the “Zen of physical maintenance”, and claiming he admires it for its brutal simplicity—an escape from the complexity of the modern information society.
I, as is my nature, feel compelled to disagree. Bushwalking as an escape from the technical complexity of modern life? Not for Clint. After he’s finished fighting his GPS—which scrolls down but not up—and selecting the right datum to use from the baffling array of very similar, but slightly incompatible choices, he then has to work out which of the 18 ropes on his particularly-multi-purpose US Army Poncho he should pull on to achieve the desired result. He will then stop to correct a shoe malfunction, while discussing timing limitations in the mobile phone network.
I, on the other hand, am mastering the Zen of equipment failure. By taking along guaranteed to fail equipment, purchased for the cheapest possible price, I am not only freeing myself from the artificial shackles of debt-driven economic dependency, I am also saving enough money for the milkshake I’ll fantasize about for the whole walk, and achieving something really worthwhile. It’s a hollow achievement, overcoming with the best of the best, or even suitably equipped—but try taking a ten-dollar self-deflating mattress in a split-open twenty-dollar pack, to lay on your three-dollar tarp under your two-dollar-fifty plastic-bag poncho—you’ll be thanking the dozen shoelaces you bought for two dollars, as you tie your six-dollar thongs back onto what’s left of your pack. Ancient sadhus may have lain upon beds of nails, or shivered alone in lofty Himalayan caves in their quest for enlightenment—I simply blow up my inflatable mattress at regular intervals throughout the night.
And next, I plan to start walking at night. Everyone else walks in the day, properly equipped—where’s the challenge in that?
- Comment by sef – Friday 9 June 2006, 6:09 PM
- The bikkhu of bushwalking. Such deliberate omissions, as opposed to our poverty-enforced omissions, have precedence in the mountaineering field: climbing without ropes and the ultralight mob. Both of whom you've said are silly.
I think the idea is novel if nothing else, and while I'm not searching for a path to any single truth a multi-day walk under such conditions make for some interesting Zen. Actually, how about this as a proposal: the long-awaited night walk series using only $3 Everready torches?
Bloody Hare Krishna wannabe Zen lunatics and their $70 torches!
- Comment by sef – Friday 9 June 2006, 6:17 PM
- I also have an old $20 pack that smells like bananas, if you want to rid yourself of that brand new Cerro Torre :P
- Comment by Ned – Friday 9 June 2006, 6:22 PM
- Without light, you can’t see. I very much like my new, and rather expensive, torch—though I do admire your head-torch’s ability to randomly turn off and not on again.
I also quite like my new pack—I’ve already done the exploding twenty-dollar pack thing, I’m a fast learner, I don’t need to do it again. Besides, I need something large and reliable to put all my other unreliable junk in.
- Comment by Maz – Saturday 10 June 2006, 12:58 AM
- I think you're both silly. And arguing about it on the open interweb is just likely to make you seem like the interweb types. I shouldn't need to remind you about people that talk about what they're going to post on their journals when they get home.
As for the rest of the description about doing it below a non-existant budget, its not quite so impressive when you think that you're just being a student, like every other student, and these are the stories you'll be telling people that you start with the line "When I was younger..."
For fairness sake I'll post a comment on Clints too.
- Comment by sef – Saturday 10 June 2006, 9:25 AM
- God forbid someone puts something on the Internet other than "today was horrible, here's a poem". I fail to see how posting something original, previously unmentioned to anyone, places me in the 'interweb' category. It certainly doesn't place me in my own, and I'd figured myself to be one of the lone cynics there. Ned could have perhaps rang me to discuss his opinion on it - but, after all, the medium is interactive and cheap.
If any discussion at all over the Internet is inherently 'interweb', not only do you indirectly legitimise the genuine wrongs of the content provider, but in making such a condascending statement in the same media context you set yourself up as sort of postmodern clown.
- Comment by Maz – Saturday 10 June 2006, 10:50 AM
- I never claimed to be anything even half that good.
I think the 'interweb' is a lot bigger than you think, definitely including all of us.
- Comment by Mum – Monday 12 June 2006, 12:31 AM
- Yes. Well. All sounds very nice and interrlectural. You go down the road sideways heading towards a bridge. Oh Zen. You try driving these roads after 18 inches of rain overnight. Very Zen.
It is not that it is a heavy problem. We would not live here otherwise, it is just that there is a measure of flippancy about some Zen angst which makes me laugh. Geez. This is a paradise up here and the world doesnt know it. There is really something about going down the road sideways, with one's heart in the mouth, and one's teeth on edge and many unholy swear words emanating, and the bridge railings coming up FAST and......well, Zen is another way of saying AMEN. Keeps you on your toes. This is the best place in Australia and I dont want anybody to know it. Yeah, okay. biased.
10.06.2006 – Saturday 10 June – Two Galahs & an Overcast Sky
- • It’s a rainy, overcast morning here in Brisbane, quite Melbourne. Two galahs were sitting on a streetlight, an Irishman and an Englishman… Let’s try that again. Two galahs were sitting on a streetlight, framed by a steely grey sky and the industrial backdrop of a train line and one of Brisbane’s many under-construction skyscrapers. Ironically, the entirely useless weather beacon can be faintly seen through the ominous skies, signalling clear, unchanging weather.
Bronwen has packed and left for a weekend at Stradbroke with her parent’s, late and in a hurry as always. I’ve just driven into uni with Clint, dropping him off for an exam and driving back here—we figured there wouldn’t be any parking available at uni—and would be enjoying my second cup of coffee, if I drank the stuff.
- • I drove to uni through pouring rain and dangerous drivers, picking up Clint, and then on to Maz’s, from where Clint drove us to KFC’s—although I went to the Indian takeaway just near, and bought vegetable curry, dhal and rice for lunch. I then added a few things to my “Amused” site, while it rained outside.
- • It rained a little. I relaxed, watching some garbage TV, chatting online, and playing around with my websites, fixing a few problems and adding an easier way of deleting photos from my journal.
- • It seems to have become later than before. I don’t feel tired, but I think it’s probably bedtime.
- • It seems to have become even later. Going to bed didn’t quite work out as intended—I got stuck reading about various musicians.
11.06.2006 – Sunday 11 June – Computers, Calculators, Cake & Extreme Cold
- • I had a peaceful sleep in, after my late night.
- • I awoke to find that it’s very windy, blowing open windows and slamming one of the doors in the laundry. I had planned to go down and have a look at Rosalie’s inaugural Cheese and Wine Festival, but the ten-dollar (or five with my Cold Rock discount) entry seems a little pricey for what I suspect it is—I like cheese in the uncultured lots-on-everything way, not the it’s-still-growing-and-may-explode way.
- • I was about to ride to Clint’s place, but met Maz at the door. He had been driving around looking at the things people have put out for council’s kerbside collection tomorrow. We drove to Clint’s, and from there to Toowong, where we bought a calculator from Coles, dropped Clint home, and went to KFC. One of the Coles staff was discounting cakes—and being followed by a veritable horde of Asians, grabbing everything as it was discounted. Some had three and four cakes each. I don’t know what’s wrong with the people that shop there, but it has never happened at the Woolworths I shop at, despite them offering even greater discounts.
After chips from KFC, Maz dropped me, driving grid patterns looking for exciting treasures dumped on the side of the road. It’s rather exciting—we have our very own pile of junk out on the road, to which I’ve added our broken washing machine.
- • It is really, seriously, ferociously, rather cold outside. I am typing in gloves, which is a first for me—and somewhat difficult. So far, I’ve had an exciting night. I’ve watched some detective movie on the ABC while eating cream-filled sponge cake with pink icing and hundreds and thousands sprinkled over the top. My future plans include drinking a glass of fruit juice to try to counteract the cream and sponge, and possibly going for a walk outside—if the air hasn’t frozen solid—and looking for accidentally thrown out items of extreme value.
- Later Night
- • I’ve just finished watching “The Dead Pool”. Believe it or not, the good blokes won and the bad bloke ceased to be. (I’m making a conscious effort not to use the word “guy”, as it’s an Americanism and we’re not American, instead using “bloke”, which is apparently from an ancient cryptic language—a combination of Irish and Gaelic. Quite clearly, anything that’s from a cryptic language has to be good). Now I’m chatting to Clint, Maz and Mum on MSN, and tossing up going treasure hunting again.
- • Well, it’s very cold out there in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve just been for a walk around the suburbs, treasure hunting—Clint and Maz both piked, clearly the both of them aren’t half the man I am. I didn’t find much treasure, unfortunately—in fact, all I’ve ended up with is a tiny 700 MHz Celeron computer—but it was a good excuse to use my torch. I think I’ll head to bed now, and get some warmth back into me. It’s nights like these one needs a nice warm Bronwen.
- Comment by Mum – Monday 12 June 2006, 3:22 AM
- Good. Along with "guys", we can throw out "butt" and use "bum" (so vulgar, but at least Aussie). The total end-sonance of uttering that word is after all what happens when one lands on it! I would like also reinstated "drongo, deadshit, poonce, pill, drip" amongst others, as it is obviously descriptive of the larger population of bloody mongrel flamin barstard useless scungey mob of cretins who have somehow gotten themselves into control of what was once a country of ours.
12.06.2006 – Monday 12 June – The Queen’s Birthday
- • I woke up, had some breakfast, then some lunch, and watched a pile of old “Merrie Melodies” on Briz 31, and that was my exciting afternoon.
- • I went for a walk, looking for more treasure. I didn’t find much, ending up at Maz’s, having called him to come and have a look at some SCSI photo scanners and various computer bits. I watched some Futurama with Maz before walking home again, picking up a base for Bronwen’s baseless light on the way.
- Afternoon, take two
- • He’s just had a talk to Clint, about writing—and about how few people—himself included—write anything well anymore. He said, the reason he writes so rarely in his journal, is because nothing of any interest ever happens, and when it does, he hasn’t the time to write as he’s then busy with the interesting event. As he said this, he realised it was nothing more than a hollow excuse really—it’s not as if he hasn’t the time, or even that it takes any longer to write well. He thinks he’s a reasonable writer, in that if he has something he wants to convey—he can. He has no problem writing a five-page email that will put into words his exact emotions, and successfully transmit his message—but he’s not sure about the technicalities.
He’s worried; can he use two levels of dashes like that, as he did in the first sentence, or a semicolon like in this one? And if he can’t, if it’s something that just isn’t done—why not? He thinks, writing is writing—it has to be readable by whoever is supposed to read it, and in this case, he’s the one that’s writing it for himself, so he’ll write it however he wants. That is, after all, how writing developed—back before it was formalised. So, he’s going to rewrite today—sadly not in the “rewriting history” way, but in a purely English way.
He woke, rested, but worried that half his day had already gone. Worried that time was passing too fast, that the weekend had gone and he still hadn’t done all the things he had meant to do. In some deeper, more alarming way, he worried that time was running out. Running out for what, he wasn’t quite sure—but it was running out, that he knew. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but he felt it—the feeling that he hadn’t done something, something that he should have done. Exactly what he was supposed to be doing he didn’t know, and the things he was supposed to do—well, they were all out of his control.
He was supposed to be looking for work; he was supposed to be working by now, really. He had never considered that it would be difficult to get work, and that’s probably why he found it difficult. He started looking too high—thinking he was too good. He’d read that this was typical for the so-called “generation X”. How he hated those generational tags—sure, generations probably do distinguish themselves in various ways, but where’s the cut-off? People aren’t born in ten-year cycles. He thinks it’s probably all part of some diabolical scheme to keep control, to stop the young from learning from the wise. He’s getting very cynical, but surely it’s true—the world is not a good place, the deeper he looks, the truer that is.
He’s gotten distracted—gone off on a tangent. That’s how his mind works—it thinks faster than he can type, and it thinks in parallel. By the time he’s finished thinking one train of thought, another—one that started somewhere in the middle—has already added itself to the output of the former, changing the whole direction, and before he knows it, he’s gone off on another tangent. It’s inefficient in some ways, concentrating purely on one thing would seem to be the way to do it—but, there’s always the larger picture, other things he hadn’t thought about—he likes to think it’s probably a sign of intelligence.
He’s heard that people, when they reach retiring age, don’t want to retire. He can understand why, even though he wants to work for a living, not live for working, he realises that people need clear goals—they need something to look forward to. In a way, that’s why he bought his torch. It was something to look forward to. When he was at uni, he could look forward to finishing uni, or in the shorter term, exams, the end of a course, holidays—and the large, endless future that came after uni—that he could ignore. Deep down he had an uncomfortable feeling that ignoring it wasn’t the right thing to do, but there was always something in the present to take his mind off that.
Now, now that he’s in that big future, he finds he has very little to look forwards to—not in the depressing, shallow-minded “nothing to look forward to” way—but in a simple, matter-of-fact way. He looks forward—to what? Tomorrow? Tomorrow never comes, so the saying goes—but it’s just one of a whole host of rather stupid sayings that, while they’re great in the context they were designed for, are horribly overused. Tomorrow will come—tomorrow. As it always does—and that’s his problem: every day is the same—there’s nothing to distinguish one from another, nothing to look forward to; there are no defined dates of any significance coming up, nothing that he knows about that’s going to change his life in any way. He thinks about it. It’s not that there’s nothing coming up—he’s confident he’ll get work sometime soon—it’s that he doesn’t know when, or really if, that something is coming.
People, he thinks, not only need clear goals—they need precise, matchable targets. They need short-term dates, things to divide their lives into small periods, things they can work towards and see that they’re making progress. Things that, when they reach them, they know there is another stage that follows. But at the same time, he thinks the idea of a life pre-planned, a life divided into little chunks, each one with a start and end date, is deeply disturbing—somehow contrary to the very concept of freedom.
So instead of thinking, he watches “Merrie Melodies”, in an attempt to avoid the nasty feeling that he’s avoiding something—which is self-defeating, if ever anything was.
That, he thinks, is probably enough writing for now.
13.06.2006 – Tuesday 13 June – Clint’s Car Accident
- • I drove to uni with Clint, dropping him at his exam and driving back here.
- • I applied for a UI Designer position, and updated my CV to include my hobbies on the recommendations of Lauren Borg.
- • A truck came around picking up some of the kerbside garbage, but only large whitegoods it seems.
- • I’d driven into uni to pick up Clint from his exam. It had just begun sprinkling lightly. I had to stop by Centrelink on the way back. I’d pulled up on Jephson Street, waiting to turn right into Lissner. The lights straight through were green, but I was opposed by a red arrow, and in the centre lane. Another car had pulled up a car’s length behind me. Clint and I were having the usual highly intellectual conversation that only two incredibly intelligent people could have, when there was a large bang, some squealing, and a moment later, another bang. Or in other words, as we were idly discussing life, strawberry milk, and other matters of great import, some psycho slammed into the car behind us, which then slammed into us. The lights had, by this time, turned orange. I drove through them and parked on the side of the road, hazards on. Clint and I got out and began directing traffic around the rather flattened offending car, and cleaning up the broken pieces of car on the road. A girl who lived nearby grabbed a few brooms, and we swept most of the mess onto the kerb.
A traffic controller just happened to be sitting across the road, collecting signs, so he came across and put up a traffic sign. The fire brigade and two tow trucks arrived surprisingly shortly after. The police had stated that they weren’t interested in attending. Everyone wandered around in circles rather inefficiently, collecting details from each other. The fire brigade ordered an ambulance for the lady who had hit us, which arrived some time later and took her away. Clint’s car was still driveable, and we would have driven away, but apparently the police have to attend if someone has been taken to hospital—I suppose if they die, it becomes a criminal investigation.
So we waited, talking to the tow truck drivers and fire brigade. The car that hit the car behind us is pretty well flattened. It’s fortunate the engine didn’t go through the firewall. The car behind us looks remarkably unharmed—but apparently, under the skin, its boot isn’t really there anymore. Clint’s car’s boot is a little higher than the average boot should be, and the pretty plastic bumper they put on the back has been bumped, bending the fuel tank and apparently hurting the spare tyre.
The police turned up, a full hour after the accident (though in their defence, they weren’t informed that someone had been taken to hospital until well after the accident), and took reports from everyone. I was breath tested. Clint and I picked up an old tent that happened to be lying on the side of the road awaiting council’s kerbside pickup to throw over his newly raised boot. We then—an hour and twenty minutes after the accident—drove carefully back to Clint’s place, Clint driving.
After our longer than expected trip to right near Centrelink, we bagged up the back of the car with our newfound tent, and walked back to Centrelink. I stood in line for half an hour, we walked to Coles and bought some milk and some lunch from a bakery, and I walked home—and now it’s six o’clock.
- • The power failed, wrecking my computer in the process. Fortunately, I just happened to have bought a torch not that long ago. Bronwen arrived a little while later, just after the power had returned. I managed to fix my computer again by the complex process of letting its automatic disk scan scan the disk automatically. Bronwen and I bought pizza and watched “Snatch”, which is probably the eighth greatest movie ever made, and contains the best scene ever made—twice.
14.06.2006 – Wednesday 14 June – Insurance & Glowsticks
- • I was woken (for the second time today—I wake up when Bronwen gets up) by Clint phoning to find out insurance information. I phoned the department of transport to figure out when I got my licence, and Clint drove round and we visited two smash repairs, leaving his car at the one who said they’d fix it faster. We walked back here to draw a map but realised we had to go look at the accident site to figure out the finer details, so we walked to Clint’s via the infamous road, drawing the map there. Once at Clint’s, we watched some “Father Ted”, then walked to Woolworths where we bumped into Maz. From there, we walked to Maz’s place, where Cassie kindly gave us glow sticks. Maz then dropped Clint home and me at Indooroopilly station, on his way to work. It turns out that today is a bad day to catch trains on the State of Origin line.
- • Bronwen came home from work, with her Mum somehow, and we walked up to the shops and did grocery shopping.
15.06.2006 – Thursday 15 June – Tokyo Drift
- • I was again woken for the second time by a phone call from the smash repair place to say Clint’s car has been approved for repair. I’m not entirely sure why they’re calling me, as they weren’t given my phone number. Who knew smash repairs employed psychic office staff?
- • I became disenchanted with my current situation, so I rode into town and had lunch at Govinda’s.
- • I rode up to Clint’s. I had planned to walk to Toowong and go to K-Mart and catch the train from there, but ran out of time, so Clint, Clus and I caught the bus into the city and walked from there to South Bank. I bought the obligatory Cold Rock, found out that having a movie ticket (two of which I managed to get without having student cards) will get you a free 70¢ mix-in, but not a free 30¢ add-in…
“Tokyo Drift” (or “The Fast and the Furious 3”) was its expected fun but not very good action movie self, with lots of very mini miniskirts and not much plot. Interestingly, they had two girls and two real cars in the actual cinema, along with a four-wheel drive complete with undercarriage lights parked outside. It seems like some rather expensive promotion. Clus caught the bus home after the movie, and Clint and I walked.
- Late Night
- • I copied some movies off Clint, having taken an external hard drive around, and he pulled his computer apart, put it back together, and managed to get his digital TV tuner working after an hour or so of moving the aerial. We then watched random movies until we got too sleepy.
- • I rode back from Clint’s. It’s somewhat cold this time of morning.
16.06.2006 – Friday 16 June – Mad Max
- • Some people banged on the door. In my sleep-ridden logic, it seemed like a great idea to not get up until thirty seconds after they’d left, and then get up to find a note on the door, and walk to the back door—I’m not sure why—and scare myself by seeing a group of police or firemen dressed in fluorescent clothes… hanging on the line… rather like a tent drying. By that time my brain had also woken up, and it all became far more normal, and the note was for Marjorie—who also arrived just then. I recovered by having some custard and cream.
- Afternoon & Night
- • He rode to Clint’s and walked to uni from there, printing some stuff at POD and buying a milkshake. He walked back to Clint’s place after, staying until it was freezing cold, watching the world—and lots of traffic—pass by Clint’s beer couch, and then walking back to his place with Clint, freezing further on the way. He watched “Mad Max” with Clint and Bronwen, back at his place, before freezing halfway back to Clint’s again.
17.06.2006 – Saturday 17 June – House Hunting
- • You awake, but it’s cold and you don’t want to get out of bed, so you don’t. Then, Bronwen says she’s about to go house hunting, so you’re forced to get up, shower, and eat breakfast in a quarter of an hour. You ride, wishing you were wearing something warmer, until you arrive at the first house. It turns out to be rather uninspiring, very brick, and a tad overpriced. You prefer timber.
The next house turns out to be miles away and has another inspection tomorrow, so rather than visit it, you ride to a park nearby and discuss past events. While you’re proving that you’re right, Bronwen discovers that there’s no longer enough time to get to the next house, so you skip to another, which happens to be under auction, right now. You inform the agent that you certainly aren’t bidding, and you even turn your phone to silent, just on the odd chance that someone rings and you accidentally purchase a house.
As it turns out, no one bids at the auction, which is hardly surprising given that the auctioneer explained beforehand that the highest bidder must purchase the house, unconditionally and without any withdrawal clauses, but if no one bids, it’s then open slather. You don’t really understand house auctions—apparently, even if the winning bid is below reserve, it still gets the house, except at a negotiated price. Auctioning a house seems rather pointless—why not bid a ridiculously low amount, then buy the house at its reserve? Or, not bid at all, then buy it at its reserve, after? Clearly, no one can get it any cheaper, and you’ve just circumvented the whole negotiation process.
After this exciting display of disinterest, you feel hungry, so you stop at a bakery and eat a vegetable pie, followed by half an iced custard slice, washed down with iced coffee. You then inspect the final house for today—an ideal family home, in what seems to be a quiet neighbourhood, close to a park, with three smallish bedrooms but a large dining/living area and a huge deck. Unfortunately, you’re not looking for a family home, so after an inspection for interest’s sake, you ride home.
- • A mature British chap, an artist, and a mining consultant from New Zealand, looks at our room. What a cleverly confusing way to phrase it, for he was one man. Shortly after, water is discovered under the tiles in the kitchen, which is rather disturbing, as it’s not known how it’s got there.
18.06.2006 – Sunday 18 June – Rain, Chips & Mad Max 2
- • It has been raining today. Not heavily.
- • She and I bought chips for dinner, and ate them with salad while watching “Mad Max 2”.
19.06.2006 – Monday 19 June – Another Interview
- • It again rained lightly.
- • I attended an interview at WebCentral. I walked to the train through a light sprinkle in my suit, and caught it to Brunswick Street. The interview seemed to go well, with them being concerned that I’d not be able to handle the admittedly probably unpleasant task of answering the phone to angry people.
- • I was called back by Lauren Borg from the recruitment agency. She told me she had been asked to call my referees. She called back again later and told that she could only get through to Dr. Soon.
- • I did some gardening, trimming back everything that’s been growing too fast and climbing out of its bed. We had another mature man look at our room. After this, Bronwen and I went shopping, dropping in at her parent’s place on the way. We had apple pie and ice cream for dessert, which is the first time I’ve had a hot dessert in ages.
20.06.2006 – Tuesday 20 June – Walking in the rain
- • Lauren phoned and told me that I had got the WebCentral job.
- • It is raining lightly again. There are ad campaigns about the drastic lack of water on TV.
- • I did some work on the Jianshe site. The internet kept dropping out. Bronwen is stressed.
- • Bronwen and I walked to Clint’s, in light drizzle, and from there with Clint to uni, via the Ville, and back again. Walking in the rain is probably not the best idea in winter, but we seem to have survived.
21.06.2006 – Wednesday 21 June – Agreements, Busways & Contracts
- • It’s still wet and raining lightly—not enough to solve any of the water problems, but enough that the garden doesn’t need watering. Lauren has phoned up to ask if I’ll come in tomorrow and sign stuff. Bronwen has contacted me to say that she’s found that a busway is likely to be built right on the house she had been looking to buy.
- • I did some more work on the Jianshe site.
- • I got my letter of offer and contract from WebCentral. The contract is an eleven-page document.
- • Michelle arrived and had a look at the room we’re offering, and then Bronwen and I walked up to her parent’s place to move some furniture, ending up having a pleasant dinner.
- • I’d planned to go for a walk with Clint, but a combination of the cold drizzle outside and the warm Bronwen inside convinced me that going to bed was a better idea. Not long after I’d gone to bed, the drizzle outside stopped, so I got up and went for a midnight walk with Clint.
22.06.2006 – Thursday 22 June – Police, Traffic Lights & Lifts
- • I phoned Chantel at WebCentral and changed my appointment to sign documents from midday to two o’clock.
- • I had originally had an appointment at midday, but when I got up, I really didn’t feel like rushing, so I had phoned and delayed it until two o’clock. I then caught a bus into uni, meeting Clint on the way. I printed a few things at POD, and had nachos at Grinder’s. I knew I wouldn’t get to my appointment on time if I had nachos, but the thought of nachos was very powerful. After nachos, I rushed to the city as fast as I could, which wasn’t very fast, using public transport and all. I made my way to the police office near the bus stop, only to find that they’re unable to do police checks, so had to make my way to the police station near pancakes. This took quite some time, acerbated by many of the traffic lights throughout the city having failed. Interestingly, the lights weren’t just flashing orange like usual, they were cycling randomly, so a lot of police had been sent out to avoid accidents.
Then, to cap it all off, I got stuck in two lifts on the way to my appointment. One wouldn’t leave ground floor, and one went only to floor seven, as far as I could tell. Looking on the bright side, I picked up some cheap plumbers o-ring grease for my torch on the way home and dropped past the “Braindead” to look for cups.
23.06.2006 – Friday 23 June – Citibank Loans, Govinda’s & Quilt Covers
- • Bronwen has taken the day off. A Citibank loan lady came around in the morning.
- • Bronwen and I walked to Toowong, returned a quilt cover to K-Mart, walked into the city, and had lunch at Govinda’s, walking back with Bronwen’s Mum. That mostly sums up today.
24.06.2006 – Saturday 24 June – House Hunting
- • I went riding with Bronwen to look at a house.
- • Bronwen and I walked up to the shops and had dinner at her parent’s place.
25.06.2006 – Sunday 25 June – Clint, Kieran, Kipps, Maz & Pasta
- • Bronwen went to her parents. I did some laundry.
- • Maz came around and dropped off a network cable he had bought me at the computer markets. We drove to Clint’s, then on to see Kieran—who had just bought a new server. Exciting server-oriented conversations ensued, before we went to Indooroopilly for lunch. Maz then drove Clint and I to Kipp’s place. Maz and I then drove back to Maz’s place, where he copied some stuff from one of my external hard drives onto his, dropping me home after.
- • I watched some episodes of “Coupling”, and had a nice pasta dinner followed by a short walk with Bronwen.
26.06.2006 – Monday 26 June – Working, Pizza & Soccer
- • I got up early and caught an extremely full train to my first day at work at Webcentral, where I underwent, and survived, an induction. It turns out today is free pizza day.
- • I walked out of my first day at work to find that it was bucketing down rain. Fortunately, I had an umbrella, which stopped a little bit of the rain from getting on the very top parts of me.
- • Bronwen and I had dinner at an Indian place down the road.
- Late Night
- • Bronwen and I walked to Toowong, meeting Clint there, and then back to Park Road, where we watched Australia unfairly lose at soccer. It was interesting to see the crowds packed in at Park Road.
- • Back home. Quite tired. Must sleep.
27.06.2006 – Tuesday 27 June – Work & Pizza
- • Unsurprisingly, I awoke a little tired. Staying up most of the night is probably not the optimal thing to do before one’s second day at work, but I’m not your average one.
- • Some of the highlights of work: I attended a three-hour training session for an exciting new product, and listened in to phone conversation for the first time. I also bought a new shirt from Big W in the city during my half hour lunch break.
- • Bronwen and I had pizza. Clint dropped by. His car is fixed.
28.06.2006 – Wednesday 28 June – Work
- • My third day at work. I’m slowly beginning to learn the system. It’s very complex, and the experienced staff are so fast.
29.06.2006 – Thursday 29 June – Work
- • I underwent another day of training at work.
- • I found that my nedmartin.org site had stopped working, and had to re-add the domain.
30.06.2006 – Friday 30 June – Work & Superman
- • I got up in the morning, rather tired, and half an hour after my alarm had gone off. Fortunately, due to the vagaries of public transport, I still got to work on time and enjoyed another day of training.
- • I attended my first “Level Two Meeting”, which mostly comprised a presentation on the new mail system WebCentral is considering. It was exciting in places, just to see the big numbers people were bantering about.
- • Walked into town and saw “Superman Returns” at South Bank. It wasn’t very good, ignoring all the issues in it and playing for that warm fuzzy “lived happily ever after” feeling.